Waldo Lake Area

  

Image of Waldo Lake

Thick forests, hiking, mountain biking, camping, swimming and boating. Waldo Lake is a recreation gem of the Cascades (besides the hordes of mosquitoes in early summer). Waldo Lake is one of the largest natural lakes in Oregon. Lying high on the western slopes of the Oregon Cascades, Waldo Lake is one of the largest natural lakes in Oregon and one of the purest lakes in the world. It has no permanent inlet to bring nutrients into the lake for plant growth. The lack of plant life contributes to its purity. You can see to depths of 120 feet on a calm day. It offers a uniquely peaceful setting on the water and along remote shorelines, surrounded by forests of Douglas fir and Western Hemlock. Recreation in the area is abundant with the lake an ideal location for water activities like sailing, canoeing and swimming. See more photos.

CAMPING

Waldo Lake’s three developed campgrounds usually open in late June or early July, depending on snowpack. North Waldo, Islet, and Shadow Bay have over 200 developed sites with toilets, potable water and boat ramps at Waldo Lake. Many campsites can be reserved up to six months in advance of arrival through recreation.gov. Campgrounds are often full mid-August into September.

Waldo also has nearly 50 primitive dispersed campsites around the lake. Dispersed campsites are free, but there are rules for staying in a dispersed site, including how to dispose properly of waste (there are no restroom facilities at these sites).

BOATING

Waldo Lake is one of the clearest lakes in Oregon and to help maintain the purity, only electric boats motors traveling less than 10 mph. Non motorized boats such as canoes, kayaks and paddle boards are popular along with the occasional sailboat. Boaters may debark at Waldo’s two islands for a picnic or scampering around, but may not camp there overnight.

Boating Regulations & Boating Safety: Oregon State Marine Board manages boating regulations. Visit their website for boating regulations and safety information. They also have links to information about water levels.

HIKING/BIKING

Waldo Lake borders the Waldo Lake Wilderness area. There are numerous trails that lead to nearby wilderness lakes.

Mountain bikers may use any trail marked for the sport. The 20-mile Waldo Lake Trail (also known as the Jim Weaver Loop trail) around the lake is a popular ride. But at 5,400 feet in elevation the trail is covered with snow late into the season. Early fall when the trail dries out and the mosquitoes die down it’s a great ride.

FACTS & FIGURES

  • Lake Area: 6,298 acres (9.8 square miles)
  • Lake Surface Elevation: 5,414 feet
  • Maximum Depth: 420 feet
  • Average depth: 128 feet
  • Length of shoreline: 21.7 miles
  • Basin Formation: Tectonic fault block subsidence modified by glaciers
  • Soils: Thin layer (average between 3 and 6 feet) of moderately weathered volcanic ash and boulders from glacial outwash over basaltic bedrock

History of the Waldo Lake Area

At a Glance

Reservations: Waldo Lake’s three developed campgrounds usually open in late June or early July, depending on snowpack. North Waldo, Islet, and Shadow Bay have over 200 developed sites with toilets, potable water and boat ramps at Waldo Lake. Many campsites can be reserved up to six months in advance of arrival through recreation.gov. Campgrounds are often full mid-August into September.
Usage: Medium-Heavy
Restrictions:
  • See special regulations for Waldo Lake
  • Motorized boats are allowed on Waldo Lake when propelled by an electric motor and traveling less than 10 mph.
  • Islands are day use only, no overnight camping or campfires.
  • 14 day boat moorage limit; must be staying at Waldo Lake while mooring.
  • Floatplanes are prohibited.
  • Generator and chainsaw use are prohibited in undeveloped areas around Waldo Lake (see map).
Closest Towns:

Closest food, gas and lodging are available in Crescent Lake Junction, Oregon

Passes: Some trails, day use sites, and all boat ramps require require a Recreation Pass
Information Center: Middle Fork Ranger District
46375 Highway 58
Westfir, OR 97492
541-782-2283

General Information

General Notes:
Directions:

Waldo Lake is a large natural lake, approximately 31 miles east of Oakridge and 70 miles from the Eugene, Springfield area. Waldo is located at an elevation of 5,414 feet in the Oregon Cascades.  To reach Waldo Lake from I-5, travel east on Highway 58 about 60 miles to the junction of Forest road 5897. Proceed north, eight miles to the south portion of the lake, or 14 miles to the northern reaches of the lake.


Recreation Map

Map showing recreational areas. Map Information

Activities


Camping & Cabins

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Fishing

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Hiking

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Horse Riding & Camping

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Picnicking

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Water Activities

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Areas & Activities

Highlights

Location

 
  Area/Length : 
6272 Acres

  Latitude : 
43.7245474

  Longitude : 
-122.073019

  Elevation : 
5414 feet

 



https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/willamette/recreation/recarea/?recid=4528